Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty & Research is look­ing for a PhD stu­dent in the area of ‘Envi­ron­men­tal impact of dairy and aqua­cul­ture farm­ing sys­tems in Indone­sia. Design of inte­grat­ed dairy-aqua­cul­ture and improved spe­cial­ized farm­ing sys­tems to reduce the envi­ron­men­tal impact of ani­mal-source pro­tein pro­duc­tion.


Field­work in Bogor, Indone­sia – Pro­pos­al writ­ing and the­sis writ­ing in Wagenin­gen, the Nether­lands.

Sci­en­tif­ic Fields:

Ani­mal Pro­duc­tion Sys­tems, aqua­cul­ture, envi­ron­men­tal impact analy­sis, and mod­el­ling.


The demand for ani­mal pro­tein, both fish and dairy, is increas­ing in Indone­sia. Both sec­tors are there­fore look­ing to increase their pro­duc­tion, while the avail­abil­i­ty of land and fresh­wa­ter is lim­it­ed. There­fore, in
order to increase pro­duc­tion with­out fur­ther pres­sure on land and water, cur­rent pro­duc­tion sys­tems need to be more sus­tain­able in terms of pro­duc­tion, envi­ron­men­tal impact and resource use effi­cien­cy. There is how­ev­er cur­rent­ly a lack of ade­quate lon­gi­tu­di­nal data to deter­mine how this objec­tive can be achieved.

Smart farm­ing in dairy and fish sys­tems is suit­ed to col­lect data in a lon­gi­tu­di­nal man­ner and to eval­u­ate the cur­rent pro­duc­tion sys­tems and can help to improve ani­mal pro­duc­tion in Indone­sia. Using this data, risk fac­tors and man­age­ment issues that block sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion will be iden­ti­fied. The col­lect­ed infor­ma­tion will be pro­vid­ed back to farm­ers through tech­nolo­gies such as apps to aid them to improve on-farm pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cy.

PhD top­ic
The chairs Ani­mal Pro­duc­tion Sys­tems and Aqua­cul­ture & Fish­eries (AFI) of Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty are look­ing for an enthu­si­as­tic PhD can­di­date, with a clear inter­est in Ani­mal Pro­duc­tion Sys­tems, Aqua­cul­ture Pro­duc­tion Sys­tems, envi­ron­men­tal impact analy­sis and mod­el­ling. Today, the demand for ani­mal-sourced food is increas­ing rapid­ly in Indone­sia. The increas­ing pro­duc­tion is asso­ci­at­ed with increas­ing envi­ron­men­tal impacts. Pol­lu­tion of the envi­ron­ment with Nitro­gen and Phos­pho­rus, emis­sions of green­house gas­es and com­pe­ti­tion for land are exam­ples of such impacts. As a PhD can­di­date in this project, you will inves­ti­gate 1) the envi­ron­men­tal impacts of dairy and aqua­cul­ture sys­tems by using Life Cycle Analy­sis (LCA), nutri­ent bal­ance stud­ies and land use 2) pos­si­ble inter­ven­tions to improve the envi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance of the dairy and aqua­cul­ture sys­tems by using var­i­ous meth­ods, such as stake­hold­er process­es and farm­ing sys­tem mod­el­ling, 3) to explore the effect of inter­ven­tions out­side the pro­duc­tion chain of dairy and fish using con­se­quen­tial LCA and 4) to explore the options to com­bine dairy and aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion in an inte­grat­ed sys­tem to reduce envi­ron­men­tal impacts. Your project should result in four pub­li­ca­tions.

Required back­ground

  • An MSc degree in ani­mal sci­ences, biol­o­gy, aquat­ic ecol­o­gy, envi­ron­men­tal sci­ences, or relat­ed fields
  • A proven affin­i­ty for farm­ing sys­tem research, envi­ron­men­tal impact assess­ment, and mod­el­ling.
  • Excel­lent oral and writ­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills in Eng­lish and proven abil­i­ty to col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers.
  • Will­ing­ness to trav­el inter­na­tion­al­ly for vis­its to research insti­tutes, to attend inter­na­tion­al project meet­ing, and attend con­fer­ences.
  • Affin­i­ty with the top­ic is an advan­tage.

We offer you a chal­leng­ing research project for a peri­od of 4 years. You will work in a sand­wich con­struc­tion, spend­ing in total 18 months at Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty includ­ing project pro­pos­al and the­sis writ­ing at start and end of your PhD, and 30 months at Bogor Uni­ver­si­ty for exper­i­men­tal work.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion
The PhD will be obtained from Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty, the Nether­lands. The research will be divid­ed between Indone­sia (30 months) and Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty, the Nether­lands (18 months). Research costs includ­ing visa, trav­el costs for trav­el­ling with­in the project, and costs asso­ci­at­ed with data col­lec­tion are cov­ered by the project. For the peri­od in Wagenin­gen a grant is avail­able to cov­er salary costs. Salary costs in Indone­sia are not cov­ered in the project, so we have a strong pref­er­ence for can­di­dates that can sup­port them­selves or are sup­port­ed by their employ­er. How­ev­er, in the cir­cum­stance where a can­di­date is unable to find this sup­port but has out­stand­ing cre­den­tials, the project team will con­sid­er sup­port­ing him or her dur­ing their research time in Indone­sia.

In order to be admit­ted to the Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty PhD pro­gramme, select­ed can­di­dates will have to go through the admis­sion pro­ce­dure. A proven suf­fi­cient lev­el of Eng­lish pro­fi­cien­cy as indi­cat­ed by an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a min­i­mum of 6.0 for speak­ing) is required.

Next to this posi­tion, four oth­er PhD posi­tions (with dif­fer­ent top­ics) are open in the project. Of these five posi­tions, three will be sup­port­ed by an LPDP schol­ar­ship. The LPDP schol­ar­ship is a per­son­al grant that will cov­er all salary costs, both in Indone­sia and in The Nether­lands. Select­ed can­di­dates are encour­aged to enrol in the LPDP schol­ar­ship appli­ca­tion. They will have to go through an addi­tion­al pro­ce­dure to com­pete for the LPDP grant.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the vacan­cy, please con­tact dr SJ (Simon) Oost­ing (simon.oosting@wur.nl) or dr. MCJ (Marc) Verdegem (marc.verdegem@wur.nl)


To apply for this posi­tion, sub­mit your CV and a let­ter of moti­va­tion before August 23, 2020, to dr. Mar­jolein Derks (marjolein.derks@wur.nl) men­tion­ing PhD5 – SmartI­nAg project.